Top Historical Gambling Movies you shouldn’t miss!

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Sitting at home and not in a mood to hit the casino yet? What better way to revive the fun than watching a classic gambling movie in peace? There are tons of gambling movies out there, but none of them will encapsulate the world of gambling movies like these movies mentioned in the list. From flashy glamorous Vegas life to its sleazy underbelly, our experts have listed the best historical gambling movies that you can watch right now! Keep reading for more!

Top Historical Gambling Movies you shouldn't miss!

Owning Mahowny

Based on a true story this film follows an otherwise well-adjusted bank manager who’s hiding a secret – he’s hooked to gambling. Working at a bank, while being in close proximity to Atlantic City and having a debilitating gambling addiction probably isn’t the best combo for a bank manager – especially, when you end up embezzling millions of dollars to feed your addiction. Underscoring the effects of the compulsion and not stressing on the glitz and glamour of casino life or corporate crime, this 2003 film is a story about betting it all and losing. A must watch for all the gamblers.


Mel Gibson plays a Poker expert in the Old West who’s making his way to a renowned tournament to prove his mettle. Along the way, he encounters many obstacles as he attempts to earn a considerable amount of money to pay the tournament entry fee. Also starring Jodie Foster is a con woman and James Garner as U.S. Marshal the film has enough plot twists to inspire any player who loves playing games at the best live casinos. Realistic, fun, light-hearted and full of gambling references, this 1994 movie aptly earns its spot in this list.

The Colour of money

When the protege becomes the mentor, that’s when things get interesting. Reprising his role from 1961’s ‘The Hustler’, Paul Newman plays a retired pool player (Eddie Felson) who takes Tom Cruise’s character Vincent under his wing as a pool shark and training. They set out to sharpen their skills with Vincent eventually out hustling the original hustler. Bolstered by an Academy Award-winning performance by Newman, this Martin Scorsese film definitely navigates dank pool halls with ease ensuring the audience is racking up right beside his layered characters. Don’t miss this one!

The Gambler

When the thrill of being a beloved college professor isn’t enough there’s always the excitement of gambling to fall back on. But when you’re dealing with a gambling addiction that knows no limits it can become downright life-threatening. Played by James Caan, this gambler seems to have it all but it’s never enough. Another film about the dangers of addiction, this 1974 movie actually makes you feel for a guy who will rip off his own mother. But, as we eventually learn it’s not about the money…it’s about the stakes!

The Sting

The Great Depression was appalling, it was also a time when elaborate cons seemed like a perfectly acceptable way to earn a living. Paul Newman and Robert Redford play a couple of grifters who set up an elaborate ploy to scheme a crime boss out of half a million bucks. As the film unfolds, so do the layers of this scam with the audience finally being let in on the very complicated con. Fun to watch and an Oscar darling, this 1973 movie is about playing to win. You won’t regret watching this.


An exceptional Poker player who manages to lose to a Russian Mobster, Matt Damon plays a man who’s lured back to the table when his shady friend portrayed by Edward Norton comes back into his life. The siren song of high-stakes Poker is just that strong enough to make a law student drop out of school and a relationship and leave town to go pro. A cult favourite beloved by Poker lovers, thanks to its energy and pressure, this 1998 movie has been credited by some professional players for sparking their interest in the best casino games.

The Hustler

A precursor to 1986 (the Colour of money), ‘The Hustler’ sees Paul Newman originate his iconic role as Fast Eddie Felson. A talented small-time California pool hustler, after suffering a humiliating loss to a big name Felson embarks on a mission to redeem himself and to claim the pool shark throne. Along the way, he finds and loses love, has his thumbs broken and plays the most important games of his life. This Oscar-winning film also rekindled America’s love affair with pool playing cementing its spot as a classic.

The Cooler

There are probably worse things than working for a casino but having perpetual bad luck and getting your kneecaps worked over by the casino boss are pretty bad in itself. William H Macy plays an unlucky person employed by a casino to end people’s winning streaks – just by standing next to the winning table. But his luck changes when he falls in love. With a commanding Alec Baldwin performance as the ruthless casino boss, this 2003 movie shows the dichotomy of life in Vegas – warm and loving on one hand…brutal and cold on the other.

The Croupier

Most gambling movies focus on the casino’s glamour and excitement, but what about the unsung heroes that work the tables? Clive Owen plays Jack, a writer turned croupier, who gets caught up in the underbelly of the gambling world between infidelity and deceit. His aspirations as a writer and his involvement in a robbery make his croupier life way more complicated than he’d anticipated for. With its faithful representation of the casino vibe and neo-noir style, this 1998 movie paints an accurate picture of life on both sides of the table. Probably one of the best classic casino movies ever!

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Review Summary

Review Name : Top Historical Gambling Movies you shouldn’t miss!

Author : Julie Oliver

Published Date : 10/06/2019